Jackknife on the Mat

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  • June 12, 2018

Jackknife is a fun exercise to do and one that has many layers. Each rep you can try to get more length and more height!

Table of Contents
Jackknife on the Mat - Online Pilates Classes
  • Difficulty: Advanced
  • Equipment Needed: Mat (The mat shown in this video is the Contrology Folding Mat.)
  • Reps: 3-5x
  • Warning: Not ideal for those with neck or shoulder issues
  • Questions: Contact us here

Jackknife on the Mat

I love, love, love doing Jackknife on the Pilates Mat! It looks quite difficult and complicated and I’m not going to lie it is challenging and there is a bit to think about while doing it, but it’s not so different from the beginner and intermediate exercises you have been doing already. If you are doing the roll over and Double Straight Leg Stretch, you can start to add this in and when you’ve got the movements down begin challenging yourself with the precision and control that Jackknife requires. It will truly help you master the Corkscrew, High Scissors and High Bicycle.

I love, love, love doing Jackknife on the Mat!

If you have a mat with poles, place your hands on the poles and reach into them from your back. Maintain on long neck by looking to the ceiling and then lengthen your legs long and together.. Lift your legs and seat up and overhead parallel to the floor. Then reach them to the ceiling with your toes over your eyes. With control begin to lengthen your body towards the floor and once your seat touches lower your legs to where you can with control and repeat. Ideally, you try to touch the mat! Repeat three to five times.

You can prep yourself for this exercise by starting with your legs straight up to the sky and then going overhead. One of the things to be watchful for in this exercise is momentum. As you take your legs overhead reach them to the wall behind you. They will want to drop down but if you can control this exercise you’ll find a great stretch of your back and strength to lift your legs up. Once the legs are up the next part is the hard part-Controlling the descent. As you lower your body towards the mat your legs must not drop down onto your body or back overhead where they came from. Continue to reach your legs up as you roll your body down. Then, stretch them long as you lower them, reach them long to lift up and over as you repeat! Jackknife is a fun exercise to do and one that has many layers. Each rep you can try to get more length and more height!


Be sure to check out more of my Pilates Mat exercises. I want to help you continue your Pilates Mat training!

By lesley.logan

Lesley Logan, NCPT, is the founder of OnlinePilatesClasses.com, the first free online catalogue of Pilates exercise tutorial videos, where you can also find weekly online mat classes and workshops. When not teaching from her studio in Los Angeles, Lesley can be found traveling the world leading Pilates retreats, or offering Pilates business coaching to studio owners and other instructors through her private mastermind group. Connect with Lesley on instagram @lesley.logan or through the contact page on this site.

Loving this Pilates exercise tutorial? Take weekly online Pilates mat classes with OPC Teachers
Enjoying Lesley's teaching style? Willing to travel? Explore the world while maintaining your practice by joining Lesley on a Pilates retreat.

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pop up summer tour | online pilates classes

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ONLINE MAT & REFORMER PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

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On the Mat we will use light weights for one round of Teaser as they can be helpful for those still adding into their practice.
No props on the Reformer.

See you in class,

xx~LL

MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a Mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a Reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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ONLINE MAT, REFORMER, CADILLAC & WUNDA CHAIR PILATES CLASS DESCRIPTIONS:

We are all going to feel like Super Humans after this month!!

Whenever I’m in a hard exercise (for me) where I’m holding myself up with my arms and reaching my legs away I picture myself with super human strength!!! I can do ANYTHING! It makes me smile and helps me stay STRONG.

This month our exercise is Up Stretch and when you think about it - reaching your legs away and staying strong over the carriage may feel a lot like flying!

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Chair: Please have a foam roller and a balance pad available. We are going to challenge your balance safely.

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Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

Backstroke…the ultimate Middle Exercise! From our chest to our knees, front and back, we have to work our “Middle” in coordination to make The Backstroke happen. We’ll use a small ball on the Reformer and light weights on the Mat to help find our connection to this exercise.

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MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, light weights and a mat!

>> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self, a small ball and a reformer!

>> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

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No props needed.

See ya in class,
xx-LL 💋

    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    Online Mat & Reformer Pilates Class Descriptions:

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    MAT EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a mat!

    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.

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    >> Wondering what mat I’m using? You can find out more here.

    REFORMER EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Your awesome self and a reformer!

    >> Wondering what reformer I’m using? You can find out more here.